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Highlights From The Bridge on December 17: A Prospective on the Year Ahead in GovCon

This week The Bridge on TV took a prospective look into what lies ahead for GovCon in 2018. The legislative aspect of Government has much on its plate. From the NDAA, new healthcare reform, and climate change are just a few of the things being finalized near the beginning of the new year, equal doses of optimism and pessimism pervade.

Jim McCarthy – host of The Bridge and his guest panel shared what they think is in store for the GovCon industry in the coming year.

Guest Panel Includes:

  • Anne Laurent, Subject Matter Expert, Consortium for Advanced Management International
  • Rob Burton, Partner, Crowell & Moring
  • Ann Sullivan, President and Founder, Madison Services Group, Inc. (MSGI)

Here are the highlights from The Bridge on TV.

Jim McCarthy: Rob Burton, how about your predictions for 2018?

Rob Burton: If you look at the NDAA of 2017 Congress gave us a hint at what some of the trends are. I see a huge trend in 2018 which is basically moving acquisitions to the commercial sector and trying to purchase items in a commercial fashion. If you look at the NDAA Jim, there are two provisions of interests. The first is directed to DOD where it says look at the far clauses applied to commercial item acquisition and let’s see if we can reduce the number. The second is a government-wide program that will be focused on using online marketplaces and trying to encourage the government to purchase commercial items the same way you and I do on online marketplace portals. I think the challenge will be for GSA to administer that provision which presents an enormous opportunity to simplify the acquisition process. Congress took the first steps in last years NDAA and now we are in the implementation phase and I think it’s going to be very significant.

Jim McCarthy: Ann Sullivan, do you think things will get better, worse or the same?

Ann Sullivan: I think largely the same. I don’t think it could get a lot worse frankly. In 2018 the Republicans have gotten a little use to governing with all three branches in power. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may be more acclimated to D.C.’s ways of doing things. The big glitch is the 2018 elections. In an election year, if history repeats itself, the congress can’t get anything done except funding the government and even then that could be difficult. With respect to Rob’s thoughts on acquisition, I think the NDAA presents an opportunity, and I agree with him in that it may be more optimistic than the general outlook.

Jim Mccarthy: Anne do you think 2018 will be a good or bad time for a new market entrance into the GovCon space?

Anne Laurent: It depends on what they do and how well they do it, but I think it’s an interesting time, that’s for sure. Rob earlier alluded to the NDAA, the 2018 NDAA does some interesting things and one that I’ve been particularly taken with is it further expands other transactions authority space. This is a way for companies and the government to engage in relationships that aren’t contract, grants, or cooperative agreements and are really fast ways of bringing innovation into the government. Although the NDAA is focused on defense, more than just defense agencies are able to use OTA’s (other transaction authority). There is a possibility and distinct likelihood that OTA’s are going to proliferate and that will help lots of companies and non-traditional contractors.

For more information about The Bridge, check: http://thebridgeontv.com/ or stream the episode HERE https://vimeo.com/247356358)

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